Walnut Date Candies
Recipe Redux – September, 2015: Fantastic Freezer Meals
Some days we simply want nothing more than to satisfy our sweet tooth. These Walnut Date Candies are a delicious, and healthier, solution to those occasions. The dates provide a such a great amount of sweetness that it really does feel like you are eating a sugary candy. The flavors from the walnuts and coconut compliment the fruit nicely too. And as long as you have a refrigerator, these candies are easy to both prepare and store.
I find that when I use fresh Medjool dates in this recipe I usually need to use a little less of the soak water during the food processing than when I use other varieties. Also, the older the dates, the drier they will become and the more soak water you will need to utilize during the food processing. Remember you are aiming for a pasty, not crumbly, consistency from the processed dates.
This recipe is fun to make with kids, especially when rolling and shaping the candies in the wax paper. For this post I shaped the candies into squares, but creating round, cylinder shapes works well too.
Do make sure to coat the outside of the candies with the coconut instead of mixing the coconut into the candies. As dates can be sticky, the shredded coconut on the outside makes these healthy treats easier to hold with your fingers.
I like wrap the candy pieces into individual portion sizes with plastic wrap for freezer storage. That way I can quickly grab a single serving out of the freezer when I need it and go. Serve the candies for breakfast, with boxed lunches, or anytime you crave a sweet treat.
2 cups Dates, fresh
1/2 cup Water
1/2 cup Walnuts
1/4 cup Coconut, shredded
Add dates and water to a medium bowl. Soak the dates in the water for an hour.
Add dates and about 1/2 the remaining soak water into a food processor. Process the dates until they are a smooth paste, adding additional soak water if needed to get the fruit to the right consistency.
Add the walnuts to dates and process until walnuts are finely chopped.
Scoop 1/2 of the walnut date mix onto a 14-16 inch long piece of wax paper. Gently roll the wax paper around the mix and massage the paper to smooth, lengthen and shape the candy roll. Once at desired length and shape, gently peel back the wax paper. Sprinkle 1/2 of the coconut all over the outside of the candy roll. Carefully slice the roll evenly into 8 pieces, then roll candy back up in the wax paper, place into a large ziplock bag and freeze for at least 2-3 hours to set candy. Repeat with remaining 1/2 of walnut date mix.
Candies are ready for eating once they are set (hard). Candies can be served frozen or thawed. After candies are set, they can also be individually wrapped with plastic wrap and stored in the freezer for future use.
Makes 16 servings.